Finland finished with modern slavery

EPA/KIMMO BRANDT

Refugees passing time in front of the Finnish Immigration Service Kaarlenkatu Reception Center in Helsinki, Finland, 14 September 2015.

Finland finished with modern slavery


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Finland has ratified the 2014 Forced Labour Protocol – a sign of its commitment to combat modern slavery. It’s the 11th country to ratify the protocol.

On receiving the instrument of ratification at the headquarters of the International Labour Organization in Geneva, ILO Director-General, Guy Ryder, said that Finland had signalled its “determination to join the global drive to end this scourge once and for all.”

Finland’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador Terhi Hakala, described forced labour as, “a severe violation of the human rights of workers.”

In 2013, an internationally-recognised slavery expert and anti-slavery activist Kevin Bales estimated that there may be more than 600 people in Finland, deprived of their freedom, living and working under conditions that allowed them to be classed as modern-day slaves.

The estimate of over 600 slaves in the country by University of Hull professor Kevin Bales was based on a report on global slavery by the anti-slavery organisation Walk Free.

“Slaves in Finland are forced to work, for example, as sex slaves or slaves in domestic or agricultural jobs,” Bales explained.

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